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My only story along these lines was I decided to do some quick work on a wall above a 1st floor roof Southside in full sun in either July or August in Austin. No big deal, less than an hour I estimated. Sweat was streaming off my face in a steady stream. I was wobbly walking back across the roof.

Drank plenty of water, but I was still tired out. Fast forward to the next morning.

The alarm clock went off. I jumped out of bed and hit the shower. Everything started to cramp. I got back out and kaud very still on the bed while the muscle cramps got worse and my heart was doing the bossanova.

I spent the rest of the day getting my electrolytes somewhat straightened out. The day after that, my doc told me I still had an electrolyte issue and to take it easy still, plus words to the effect I was stupid, or something like that.

Cramps are annoying, except when it's your heart. I'd have to say that one scared me.
 

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Been lucky on that front. Scary stuff Dan. I've always been wary of it with men on the jobs since I saw a man fall out with legit heat stroke on the practice field in high school (never played again) , another carpenter when I was 21 or so, and probably half a dozen calls as a first responder

I quit sweating more than once, and had to get off the roof to stand in shade for a moment to figure out some cut, and gotten weird cramps many times but I never fell out. I drink a lot of water and when I was bagged up I took a lot of vitamins before work knowing they'd be gone by 10 am and in the evening. Otherwise water.

Worst cramp was in my rib cage holding a piece of steel for my buddy to get a weld on on top of ladders. Took a couple minutes to subside once he got a tack on it
 
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Pickle juice was an old coaches trick for preventing heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Used in Texas, may still be.
Heard of it, didn't see it. My pop may of in his day
 

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I always get a touch of heat exhaustion during the first few weeks of summer.

Here, we go from 60 degree cool days and a long sleeve t-shirt to 95 degrees at the flip of a switch. Always gets me and I'm hosed for a few days, hopefully on a weekend, and I can't do jack. I get nauseous as well.

What has helped me is club soda. Gets salt in and liquid. I just take cans in my cooler. Plus Diet Dew, but ymmv on that.

I take lots of breaks, even if I feel like a wuss doing it. Usually my customers come out and can't believe I'm still working.

That's when I know it's hotter than I think it is.

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
It's an insidious little event that just gets worse if you don't pick up on some of the tell tale signs coming on.

If I'm up and moving, I normally have a better chance at keeping the circulation going to help dissipate heat. But those jobs where I'm crouched down or kneeling on pavers like yesterday in direct sun surrounded by brick walls and not that much of a breeze....I'm my own EZ Bake oven. This would also include working the miter saw inside of a new property with all the wall & ceiling board up, without anything to push air...once that house assumes ambient temperature to the outside, it's flat ass hot without any breeze. Northern tool has a fan just for you if you need one for the season.

When I can't make out what I'm looking at on a tape or can't seem to get the awl on the mark to start a screw....I'll take my glasses off to clean them or switch from sunglasses to regular glasses only to find out I'm wearing my regular glasses and they're clean...relatively....I guess I should pick up on the "sumpin' zup" clue right there. But if I'm not falling down, staggered or losing my breakfast anything else should be a "walk it off" event.

I've turned a finger or two into near spatulas with framing hammers and just found something else to do for the rest of both of those days. I ran an older model Skil south-paw saw into my right upper thigh and the sure cure to keep on the job was paper towels and friction tape. Stepped deep on 8d&16d sinkers but was able to finish the day. Each of those carried a penalty later on at the ER....especially the electrician tape and paper towel bandage and 8 hours from event to finally seeing a MD (if the doc says "we'll need to debride (da-breed) this laceration" encourage him or her to use sufficient anesthetic that you don't follow through with a "if you hurt me...I'll hurt you back" warning. After 8 hours...that rip down my leg had take all of my focus...ditto on the finger smashes and puncture wounds in my feet.


When these accidents happened, I was considerably younger and considerably more dumber...but that's how you learn things as to what not to do. I still had to be on the job to keep the crews going and young enough that this was nothing more than battle-field conditions....I'll be in good shape until I get home. And then....the lady of the house would zoom once again through the roof. However with the exception of my good lady wife taking a Lodge skillet to my skull....none of these accidents killed, maimed me or stopped me from staying put. It just seems somewhat wussified to fall out from the heat. However with all the wrong conditions full blown heat exhaustion or heat stroke can take you out of the game and in too many cases this time of year....killing young athletes just starting practice.

Anyhow...I'm up and about. Putting on my boots and ready to wrap up what I left yesterday and then come home to spend the rest of the weekend with my wife and trying out my new Skilsaw miter rig.
 

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Lately, I've been trying to avoid working in the direct sun by rigging up some sort of shade if I'm in one spot for any length of time.

I have a mesh tarp (that I bought to cover my utility trailer on dump runs) that works well. It cuts the direct sun but still allows some light to come in and heat to escape. Plus it doesn't flap in the wind or collect water when it rains.
 

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Hell, I couldn't get up off the air conditioned floor of a sink job several years ago. Had to call my wife to come get me. Doctor said it must have been dehydration.
 

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Modern take on that ranchers trick. So maybe an occasional preventative hand dunk in cool water is the way to go. And those cooling rags are probably worth trying, as well.

.
 

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We've put sprinklers on the roof in the past when we had to get it done.

You keep cool, but eventually you feel like a roof grit and fiberglass covered granola bar.

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
A hat with a wide brim will help with that and is something that you should probably be wearing anyway on a hot day.
Roger that...and cold days, too.

Just for an aside about Summer hats....I wear a ball cap that are usually road kill by the end of the dog days here in Georgia. I saw an ad for a sweat band that attaches inside the forehead band to absorb sweat which sounded like a great idea. However when they arrived....not that I have personal experience....but honest to God, the stupid things are nothing more than feminine protection pads like Poise. I kept that little secret under my hat (literally) on the jobsites as these crews wouldn't be able to help themselves from crossing the line.

However....they do work. They keep the sweat out of my eyes and from dripping onto the inside of my glasses which means stop and drop what I'm getting ready to do in order to clear without smearing the lenses.

Amazon has them...the cheaper ones are not as efficient as the more expensive units.

My dad started building in 1954 and came here on the invite of another pal of his in the Navy Seabees that had a lumber yard or two in Atlanta to build VA homes for the metro area for Veterans. You could always find my old man or point him out without pointing him out....he was the only guy wearing a Pith helmet that he brought back from Guadalcanal. Kept him on his feet in the South Pacific and kept him going during Summers around here.
 

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Roger that...and cold days, too.

Just for an aside about Summer hats....I wear a ball cap that are usually road kill by the end of the dog days here in Georgia. I saw an ad for a sweat band that attaches inside the forehead band to absorb sweat which sounded like a great idea. However when they arrived....not that I have personal experience....but honest to God, the stupid things are nothing more than feminine protection pads like Poise. I kept that little secret under my hat (literally) on the jobsites as these crews wouldn't be able to help themselves from crossing the line.

However....they do work. They keep the sweat out of my eyes and from dripping onto the inside of my glasses which means stop and drop what I'm getting ready to do in order to clear without smearing the lenses.

Amazon has them...the cheaper ones are not as efficient as the more expensive units.

My dad started building in 1954 and came here on the invite of another pal of his in the Navy Seabees that had a lumber yard or two in Atlanta to build VA homes for the metro area for Veterans. You could always find my old man or point him out without pointing him out....he was the only guy wearing a Pith helmet that he brought back from Guadalcanal. Kept him on his feet in the South Pacific and kept him going during Summers around here.

I have a carton of these I use frequently.

512595
 
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